Microbiological and temperature evaluation as part of a comprehensive raw meat quality control program

Raw meat and raw meat-based diets are potentially hazardous food items used to maintain zoo carnivores. It is important to monitor handling temperature of meat throughout the preparation process to insure it is maintained below the appropriate threshold temperature (4°C or 40°F). Handling raw meat below this temperature threshold minimizes growth of harmful microorganisms. Three frozen raw meat samples were...

Predicting nutrient values of elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum) using near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

From May to December each year, the African elephants (Loxodonta africana africana) at Disney’s Animal Kingdom receive elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum) as a significant portion of their diet. Near infra-red reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) is used to quickly predict the nutrient quality of the forage. Samples of elephant grass have been collected since 2003 and used to develop calibration equations. As...

Effect of additives on ensiling of willow leaves and twigs

According to Hoffman, ruminants can be classified as browsers (“concentrate selectors”), intermediate feeders, and grazers. Compared to grazers, browsers have different nutritional requirements to meet their specific digestive physiology needs. In general, browse may contain higher amounts of secondary plant compounds and lower fiber concentrations than many grasses. In Rotterdam Zoo, browse often consists of willow leaves and branches. However,...

Feed regulations and quality control in the feed industry

The impact of state and federal regulations and internal quality control in the manufacture of quality animal feed is substantial. First, federal and state governments are responsible for administration of feed laws, in order to protect the consumer and the manufacturer. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates animal feed under the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. State Departments of...

Chemical analysis of elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum) using near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIR)

Samples of Pennisetum purpureum (PP) were collected weekly commencing the summer of 2002 and throughout the year 2003. This grass is used in the feeding enrichment program for the African elephants (Loxodonta africana) at Disney’s Animal Kingdom (DAK). Samples were submitted to a laboratory where analyses of moisture, crude protein (CP), acid detergent fiber (ADF), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), fat...

Increasing animal food biosecurity guidelines in the presence of a foreign animal disease outbreak: Exotic Newcastle Disease

Nutritionists have emphasized the importance of quality control and food safety as a routine component of zoo animal feeding programs. Formal programs, including HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) plans, have been implemented to evaluate the steps food goes through between receipt on-site and consumption by the animals for which we are responsible. However, until recently, zoos and aquaria...

Implications of carbohydrate feeding for captive herbivore nutrition and welfare

Carbohydrates comprise the major portion of most herbivore diets. Research is limited regarding the effect of carbohydrates as provided in commercial feeds, forage, and browse on the nutrition and health of captive herbivores. However, the diversity of carbohydrates, their digestion characteristics, nutrients they supply, impacts of their physical form, and potential impact on animal health strongly recommend that they be...

Sustainability issues come home: choosing seafood for zoo and aquarium animals

It has been have taken for granted that wild populations of seafood species would always be readily available. Unfortunately, there are limitations and a continued trend in the decline of fish populations both in the United States and around the globe. At the same time, the demand for seafood is increasing. Captive piscivorous animals must be provided with seafood to...

The good, the bad and the ugly: Feedstuff evaluation and quality control

Overall diet quality is controlled by the quality of the individual items that comprise the diet. This seems intuitively obvious, but is “easier said than done” when it is applied to zoo diets. Usually we use multiple items in combination (complete feeds, produce, meat, fish, whole prey, etc.) to meet the nutrient needs of the animals in our care, and...

The effect of sample handling and preparation on the iron binding polyphenolic content of browse

The objective of this study was to determine feasible handling methods for accurate analysis of iron binding polyphenolics. Seven methods were tested with different combinations of both onsite handling and laboratory preparation. In these methods, on-site collection included freezing the samples with liquid nitrogen or dry ice or collecting the samples fresh and returning them to the lab. Once in...

Purchasing forage for a diverse group of exotic animals beyond the nutrient analysis

The approach of this paper is from a forage utilization perspective as it pertains to providing forage for the diverse, and often non-food related, purposes of a zoological institution. The paper covers aspects of forage production often over-looked or poorly understood by zoo professionals yet vital to the health and wellbeing of our captive collections. The purpose of the paper...

Effects of diet on nutritional content of whole vertebrate prey.

Proximate composition (moisture, lipid, protein, ash), vitamin A and vitamin E content, and six minerals (Cu, Fe, Zn, Mg, Mn, Ca) were measured in quail, rats, mice, and guinea pigs raised on at least two different diets per species. Feed composition varied substantially but erratically in lipid, vitamin A, vitamin E, and mineral content. All unsupplemented feeds had less vitamin...

TSE’S – U.S. enforcement strategies and what they mean to you

In response to concerns by the World Health Organization, and various other authorities around the globe, over the threat of additional transmissible spongiform encephalopathy epidemics, Federal regulation now prohibits the use of proteins derived from mammalian tissue in feed for ruminant animals. This regulation removes those animal proteins from Generally Recognized As Safe status and relocates them as food additives...

Evaluation of an alternative feline diet at the Toronto Zoo

For many species of cats, little is known about their specific dietary needs. Although there have been some studies concerning digestibility and general nutrition of exotic cats species (Crissey et al. 1997; Allen et al. 1995; Wynne, 1989; Dierenfeld, 1987; Hackenburger and Atkinson, 1983; Barbiers et al. 1982), most information has been extrapolated from data concerning domestic cats (NRC, 1978).

A streamlined procedure for the determination of trace elements in foods

Considerable analytical challenges were imposed on food chemists when Congress passed the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990 (NLEA). When this law was ratified, labeling of fourteen food nutrients became mandatory, and thirty-four others voluntary. Many Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC) validated methods for foods are matrix or analyte specific. Developing rugged, generic methodology for all foods became...

Specialty animal feed manufacturing

For purposes of this talk, I will consider “specialty” feeds to be any animal diets other than the traditional agricultural (swine, poultry, cattle) or pet food (dog or cat) markets. This encompasses a broad range of terrestrial and aquatic animals, including birds, mammals, fish, crustaceans, and insects-each species with its own particular nutritional requirements.

Advances in nutrient metals digestion using open and closed vessel microwave systems

Rapid technologically evolution in sensor, computer, and vessel enhancements have led to lower detection limits and residual carbon values for both open and closed vessel microwave techniques. Application of these technologies to the determination of nutrient metals (as well as nitrogen content) of food and feeds has shown that both high level (Fe, Zn, Cu) and important trace (Se, As,...

Non-invasive methods for nutritional research at the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust

This poster/paper presents a review of nutritional research at the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust (JWPT). JWPT is an international conservation organization working to save animals from extinction. At present JWPT does not employ a full-time nutritionists and yet in recent years at least 16 species have been the focus of nutritional research, a list which includes reptile, birds and mammals....

Establishment of a zoological browse data base

Browse, a significant source of nutrition and enrichment for captive animals, is becoming increasingly important and more widely used. Browse includes leaves and twigs from shrubs, trees and herbaceous plants. It is supplemented to a wide range of captive animals including hoofstock, primates, pachyderms, marsupials and even avian species. Despite the importance of browse as a supplemental feed and enrichment...

Canned petfood products: a summary of the process and formulation/development considerations

Canned petfood represents one of the oldest forms of commercially manufactured pet care products. While consumers have increasingly shifted their buying patterns to dry kibble products in recent years, canned petfood still offers the consumer and pet many positive attributes not found in dry products. In fact, many consumers combine the positive attributes of both dry and canned products by...

AAFCO GUIDELINES: DEVELOPMENT OF THE GUIDELINES AND USE

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) sets; the nutritional adequacy guidelines for pet foods. These guidelines are developed by AAFCO subcommittees and then presented to the pet food industry and AAFCO membership for comment. Final regulations are published yearly in the “Official Publication. Association of American Feed Control Officials”.

Evaluating a Submersible Diet for Ducks and Other Species

The use of an alginate-calcium complex to formulate a durable submersible diet was evaluated in a feeding trial with growing ducklings. Growth, feed intake (FI), gain:feed ratio (GF), dry matter digestibility, metabolizable energy (ME), nitrogen-corrected ME and excreta moisture did not differ between birds fed a commercial 22% crude protein duck starter diet and those fed the same diet incorporating...

Effects of Diet on Nutritional Content of Prey Species fed to Captive Raptors

We measured proximate composition (moisture, lipid, protein, ash), vitamin A and vitamin E content, and six minerals (Cu, Fe, Zn, Mg, Mn, Ca) in quail, rats, mice and guinea pigs raised on at least two different diets per species. The objectives of this work were 1) to assess the variability of nutrient composition in some commonly used, commercially available diets,...

A Preliminary Study to Measure Protein, Fat and Moisture in Whole Mice and Rats by Near Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy

Whole mice and rats were analyzed using near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIR) to measure percent protein (Pr), percent fat (FAT) and percent moisture (MST). The NIR calibrations for Pr, FAT and MST were developed using 34 samples including mice and rats of different ages. The accuracy of the calibrations was assessed by calculating the residual standard deviation (RSD) and the...

Quality control of feedstuffs: nutrient analyses

Nutrient analyses are integral features of a quality control program designed to ensure the nutritional value and monitor nutrient composition of diets used for captive animals. Other components of a good quality control program include issues such as the presence of toxins, including mycotoxins, microbial contamination, and organophosphate/pesticide contamination. These issues will not, however, be included in this discussion. A...